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April 5, 2014
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: P. Mazzoleni
• Attendance: 38817
M. Icardi 6', 63'
J. Cristaldo 35'
P. Kone 73'
Inter look to get their quest for Europe back on track next weekend when they travel to Sampdoria while Bologna will hope to continue their relegation survival when they host Parma. Thanks for joining me on this live commentary. Until next time, goodbye.
What a terrific game of football! It's another hammer blow for Inter as they fail to win for the fourth successive game, with Diego Milito missing a penalty in the final minutes. However, you have to credit Bologna for their never-say-die attitude and Davide Ballardini's side twice came from behind to earn a valuable point in their battle against relegation. If they perform like that for the rest of the season, they should have no problem in consolidating their top-flight status.
FT: Inter 2-2 Bologna. Paolo Mazzoleni blows the full-time whistle as both sides share the spoils in a thrilling encounter at the Giuseppe Meazza.
90' + 3'
WHAT A STOP FROM HANDANOVIC! Bologna have a chance to snatch all three points as Christodoulopoulos launches a late counter attack. The Greek forward looks up and picks out the superb run of Acquafresca who stings the fingertips of Handanovic with a low drive. The danger is not over for Inter however as Acquafresca seizes onto the rebound but he is denied a late winner as Handanovic picks himself off the floor quickly to make a dramatic reflex save. Acquafresca cannot believe he has not scored there.
90' + 1'
Milito is looking to make amends for that missed penalty but he cannot get the better of Curci as his left-footed shot is well saved by the Bologna goalkeeper. Will we see a late winner?
The Inter fans are restless in the final minutes and Alvarez does little to appease them as he sends a cross straight out of play. It nearly gets worse for the Nerazzurri as Bologna launch a counter attack but fortunately for them, Christodoulopoulos miskicks from the edge of the box.
Davide Ballardini makes a late change in an attempt to consolidate Bologna's point with the defensive-minded Diego Perez replacing Panagiotis Kone. Can the relegation candidates hold on?
How costly will that Milito miss prove? It certainly wasn't the finest penalty of the Argentine's career and it seems that Inter are now looking at a fourth consecutive league game without a win. The pressure continues to build on Mazzarri.
Yellow Card Panagiotis Kone
Penalty save Gianluca Curci
Missed Penalty Diego Milito
CURCI SAVES! It just does not look like being Inter's day as their misery is compounded when Milito's penalty is brilliantly saved by Curci who sprung to his right to keep out the Argentine's effort. Inter president Erick Thohir does not look impressed in the stands.
PENALTY FOR INTER! The Nerazzurri are awarded their first league penalty in almost a year as Palacio is hauled down inside the box by Mantovani. Milito will take it...
MORLEO TO THE RESCUE! Hernanes is hoping to unlock the Bologna defence in the final minutes but he is denied a late assist as Morleo produces a glorious last-ditch clearance to deny Nagatomo meeting his cross at the back post.
Yellow Card Andrea Ranocchia
Ranocchia is the next man to go into the referee's notebook after he cynically scythes down Christodoulopoulos on a Bologna counter attack. Kone steps up to take the free kick but his effort rises high over the bar.
Walter Mazzarri does not want a 14th league draw of the season and he makes an attacking change as Diego Milito replaces international compatriot Esteban Cambiasso. Can the veteran striker make the difference?
Inter have upped the tempo in their attacking play once again but Bologna look determined to sit back and hold onto a precious point which would help them steer further clear of relegation. Are we going to see late drama at the Giuseppe Meazza?
Inter did not look confident after taking the lead for the second time and you have to question their choice to sit back and attempt to defend their one-goal advantage. Icardi attempts to restore their lead once again but he is denied his hat trick when he heads a corner narrowly over the bar.
Goal Panagiotis Kone
BOLOGNA EQUALISE! It's a horror show at the back for Inter as Rolando fails to clear Mantovani's cross from the left, presenting the ball straight to Kone. The Greek striker makes no mistake from close range and he makes it 2-2 with a low shot into the bottom corner. Walter Mazzarri looks furious.
Davide Ballardini decides to make his second change of the game and it is one former Inter man for another as Rene Krhin is replaced by Robert Acquafresca. Will Ballardini's attacking change pay dividends?
Inter appear to have taken their foot off the gas since regaining the lead and they have retreated deeper inside their own half. Mazzarri will be hoping that his side can hold onto their advantage this time.
Bologna have responded well to falling behind but Ranocchia prevents the equaliser as he manages to do just enough to stop Cristaldo from nodding in Pazienza's lofted cross.
It was always going to take Inter something special to unlock the Bologna defence, who have been terrific in this second half. Can Davide Ballardini's side pick themselves up and grind out another equaliser?
Goal Mauro Icardi
WHAT A GOAL FROM ICARDI! With the Inter fans becoming increasingly restless, Icardi gives them the perfect tonic as he receives Hernanes' neat pass before bending a glorious right-footed shot beyond the dive of Curci and off the inside of the post. That is a special strike from the Inter youngster, his sixth goal of the season.
The alarm bells are ringing at the back for Inter as Alvarez's failure to track back allows Christodoulopoulos to pick out the run of Garics. However, the Austrian cannot put Bologna ahead as his shot flashes narrowly wide of the target.
Davide Ballardini makes Bologna's first substitution of the game as Morleo replaces Cech in a like-for-like switch in order to combat the threat of Nagatomo.
Bologna are defending resolutely here, taking the sting out of the Inter attack and forcing the Nerazzurri out wide. Archimede Morleo is stripped on the touchline.
Inter are beginning to up the tempo now although they are finding it difficult to penetrate the Bologna defence. Nagatomo has switched to the right-hand side.
Inter have drawn 13 of their 31 league matches this season, more than any other Serie A side. Are they set for another stalemate today?
Walter Mazzarri is clearly gunning for the three points here and he makes an attacking change, introducing Mateo Kovacic in place of Danilo D'Ambrosio. Can the 19-year-old Croatian midfielder make a difference?
SO CLOSE FOR INTER! D'Ambrosio gets in behind Cech for the first time in the game and he delivers a teasing low pass across the Bologna goalmouth. It only needs a touch to divert it beyond Curci, but somehow it evades both Icardi and Palacio in the box.
Icardi continues to cause Natali problems and the young striker is furious not to be awarded a penalty when he is dragged down just inside the box. It certainly seems as though he was being man-handled there.
Looking back on that Bologna equaliser, it seems that Pazienza's strike may have taken a slight deflection off the boot of Cristaldo which deceived Handanovic. As it stands, it is still Pazienza's goal.
GOOD CHANCE FOR BOLOGNA! The visitors have a glorious opportunity to take the lead early in the second half when Krhin bursts beyond the Inter defence. However, the former Nerazzurri academy graduate cannot find the finish as his low drive is well saved by Handanovic.
The two teams emerge from the tunnel for the second half and Inter get the game back underway. Inter fans took the half-time break to vent their fury at Fredy Guarin, jeering the midfielder and holding up posters in protest. The Colombian was close to leaving the Nerazzurri in January and he cost Inter two valuable points on Monday when his sloppy backpass allowed Livorno to score a late equaliser.
STAT: Pazienza's 35th-minute strike was Bologna's first goal from open play in nine matches.
STAT: Inter have not beaten Bologna in their previous two encounters, drawing one and losing one.
HT: Inter 1-1 Bologna. It's all square after 45 minutes in Milan after Michele Pazienza's fierce drive cancelled out Mauro Icardi's crisp half-volley. Inter have enjoyed the majority of the possession but the Rossoblu have looked dangerous in attack and you could sense the confidence returning to the team towards the end of the first half. Big half-time team-talk ahead for both coaches.
Inter might feel that they should be ahead at half-time and the Nerazzurri spurn another decent opportunity as Icardi just fails to get on the end of Rolando's intelligent dinked pass. Walter Mazzarri looks on anxiously from the touchline. He looks like a man under pressure.
That goal has revitalised Bologna and you can sense the confidence creeping back into Davide Ballardini's side. Will we see another goal before the break?
INTO THE WALL! Hernanes attempts to cheekily catch out the Bologna defence by passing the ball underneath the wall. However, Krhin stands his ground to make a crucial block.
Yellow Card Andrea Mantovani
Icardi continues to cause the Bologna defence problems with his strength and Mantovani receives the first booking of the game when he brings down the Italian striker just outside the box. Can Hernanes restore Inter's lead with this free kick?
Inter look to respond immediately to that Bologna equaliser but Cambiasso is denied when his shot from the edge of the box is well palmed away by Curci. It's been an action-packed first half here.
Goal J. Cristaldo
PAZIENZA MAKES IT 1-1! Garics is the architect as his superb piece of skill deceives Nagatomo at the byline and he delivers a teasing low pass across the box which Christodoulopoulos meets, firing his shot straight at Handanovic when he should have scored. However, Bologna are not to be denied a rare goal on their travels as Pazienza follows up the rebound, beating Handanovic with a fierce drive from the edge of the box. It's all square at the Giuseppe Meazza.
Palacio and Icardi are proving a handful for the Bologna defence and the latter vents his frustration to the referee as he is tugged to the floor by Natali. Hernanes looks in the mood to add to his first Inter goal on Monday but he can only drag his shot wide of the target.
Inter are looking dangerous every time they come forward but they cannot double their advantage on this occasion as Hernanes' clever chipped pass is just too far ahead of Palacio inside the Bologna box.
Juan Jesus cannot continue and Mazzarri is forced to make an early change as Samuel comes into the heart of defence.
PALACIO GOES CLOSE! The Argentine has been quiet in the opening stages but he springs to life here, bursting past Antonsson with ease before firing a right-footed effort inches past the upright. Ballardini breathes a sigh of relief on the touchline, that was not far away.
It does not look good for Juan Jesus here and Inter are currently playing with ten men as Cambiasso drops back into the defence. Can Bologna take advantage?
Inter have an injury concern here as Juan Jesus goes down under a challenge from Christodoulopoulos. It was a fair tackle but the Brazilian certainly felt that one. Walter Samuel warms up on the touchline as Juan Jesus continues to receive treatment.
Inter have looked vulnerable from set-pieces today and Handanovic is called into action again as he tips Natali's glancing header over the crossbar. Christodoulopoulos is causing some real problems with his set-piece deliveries.
Hernanes scored his first Inter goal in the 2-2 draw with Livorno on Monday but the Brazilian cannot replicate that effort on this occasion as he bends a shot over the bar from outside the box.
GOOD SAVE FROM CURCI! This game is starting to become open now and Alvarez cuts inside from the right flank before he stings the fingertips of Curci with a swerving drive.
SO CLOSE FOR BOLOGNA! The visitors are finally starting to stamp their authority on this contest and Mantovani goes desperately close to finding the equaliser when his header from Christodoulopoulos' corner bounces agonisingly past the post. Handanovic was getting nowhere near that one.
CHANCE FOR BOLOGNA! The visitors have struggled to get near the Inter box in the opening stages but Christodoulopoulos calls Handanovic into action for the first time with a piledriver from distance which bounces awkwardly in front of the Slovenian. However, Nagatomo is on the scene quickly to prevent Kone from turning in the rebound.
Inter continue to probe around the Bologna box, with Cambiasso angling a diagonal pass over the defence for Icardi to chase. However, Curci anticipates the play smartly to rush off his line and pluck the ball out of the air.
It's been an encouraging start for Interistas and Ranocchia goes close with a looping header before Hernanes' long-range effort is deflected behind for a corner. Bologna have not been able to settle into any sort of rhythm here.
Inter look to build on that early goal and they come forward with menace once again. Cambiasso executes a speculative volley from the edge of the box but Curci is not called into action as it strikes the head of Icardi.
That early goal will force Bologna to come out and attack now, something which the Rossoblu have failed to impress with in recent weeks. Davide Ballardini's side have struggled since the departure of Alessandro Diamanti and have found the net only twice in their last eight Serie A matches.
Assist Yuto Nagatomo
Goal Mauro Icardi
ICARDI GIVES INTER THE LEAD! It's the perfect start for the Nerazzurri as Icardi gets in front of Mantovani to sweep Nagatomo's inviting low cross beyond Curci with a crisp half volley. That's his fifth goal of the season.
Bologna launch their first attack of the game as Christodoulopoulos attempts to play in Cristaldo with a clever flick. However, Ranocchia is tight to the Argentine forward and makes a good challenge.
It's been a slow start at the Giuseppe Meazza with both sides looking to hit the ball long in the opening stages. Neither goalkeeper has been tested so far.
The referee blows his whistle and Bologna, in their white away strip, get the game underway. Can they boost their survival hopes with a rare win at the Giuseppe Meazza today?
The two sides emerge from the tunnel to a great reception from both sets of fans. Today's referee is Paolo Mazzoleni.
STAT: Inter have scored only 21 goals in 16 Serie A home games, thereby averaging 1.3 goals/game. Even the likes of Cagliari and Sampdoria are more prolific in front of their own fans.
BOLOGNA (3-5-1-1): Curci; Antonsson, Natali, Mantovani; Garics, Pazienza, Krhin, Christodoulopoulos, Cech; Kone; Cristaldo.
INTER (3-5-2): Handanovic; Rolando, Ranocchia, Juan Jesus; D'Ambrosio, Hernanes, Cambiasso, Alvarez, Nagatomo; Icardi, Palacio.
BOLOGNA TEAM NEWS: With Bologna struggling to find the net, Davide Ballardini makes five changes to the team which lost 2-0 at home to Atalanta, with Panagiotis Kone and Jonathan Cristaldo replacing Davide Moscardelli and Robert Acquafresca up front. Andrea Mantovani, Marek Cech and Michele Pazienza also come into the side, with Nicolas Cherubin, Jose Crespo and Diego Perez making way. Former Inter academy graduate Rene Krhin starts in the midfield.
INTER TEAM NEWS: Walter Mazzarri makes three changes to the side which threw away a two-goal lead against Livorno on Monday. Walter Samuel, Jonathan and Zdravko Kuzmanovic are the players to make way as Andrea Ranocchia and Yuto Nagatomo come into the defence, while Esteban Cambiasso is restored to the heart of midfield. Croatian prodigy Mateo Kovacic once again starts on the bench.
As for Bologna, they have have won just once in their last eight Serie A matches, finding the net only twice in that run. However, the Rossoblu did manage to hold Inter to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture earlier this season when Jonathan cancelled out Panagiotis Kone's opener.
Inter have dropped points against Atalanta, Udinese and Livorno in their last three matches and with games against Parma, Napoli and Milan to come, the Nerazzurri face a tough task if they are going to return to the European stage. Reports in the Italian press this week claim that Inter president Erick Thohir is getting increasingly frustrated by the mediocre displays of Walter Mazzarri's side and there has been speculation about a sensational return to the San Siro for current Galatasaray coach Roberto Mancini.
Hello and welcome to this live Serie A commentary between Inter and Bologna. Both sides are desperate for the three points this evening though for very different reasons. Inter's collapse in the 2-2 draw with Livorno on Monday night has increased the pressure on Walter Mazzarri and he knows that the Nerazzurri can ill-afford any more slip ups if they are to finish in the Europa League places. As for Bologna, they sit just one point above the relegation zone with seven games remaining and Davide Ballardini's side face a nervous season finale as they attempt to consolidate their top-flight status.
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